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Nicaragua – Protection of human rights (13 December 2018)

France condemns the Nicaraguan Parliament’s decision to cancel the legal status of several human rights organizations, notably the Nicaragua Center for Human Rights and the Institute for Strategic and Public Policy Studies in Managua, whose directors were received at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs on October 25 and December 10 respectively.

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France and Nicaragua

Political relations

In the 1980s, France refused to align with the policy of blockades and support to the “Contras”, counter-revolutionary groups supported by Ronald Reagan.


The French Minister Delegate for Development met with the Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Samuel Santos López (6 February 2013) and with President Ortega’s Special Adviser for National Development Policies, Mr Paul Oquist (19 November 2013). Mr Santos López was also received in Paris by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Laurent Fabius, on 23 May 2013.

The French President’s personal envoy for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr Jean-Pierre Bel, made a visit to Nicaragua from 26 to 29 March 2017, during which he was received by President Ortega and the Foreign Minister, Mr Denis Moncada.

Economic relations

Trade between France and Nicaragua is limited: in 2017, our we had a trade deficit with Nicaragua, having €44.4 million (€52.5 million in 2016) of imports and €10.2 million of exports (stable compared to 2016).

Nicaragua is still little explored by French firms. Several companies do, however, have representation offices in Managua (Alcatel, Air France, L’Oréal, Peugeot, Renault and Sanofi).

France received a Nicaraguan economic delegation in November 2013, when Mr Orlando Solorzano, the Nicaraguan Minister of the Economy, Industry and Trade, met in particular with Mr Benoît Hamon, French Minister Delegate for the Social, Mutually-Supportive Economy and Consumer Affairs.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Almost 1,300 pupils study French at the Alliance Française branch in Managua and its two annexes in Léon and Granada. It acts as a European cultural centre in Managua. The Franco-Nicaraguan Lycée Victor Hugo in Managua taught 325 pupils in 2016-2017, half of whom were Nicaraguan.

About 10 students from Nicaragua go to France every year as Spanish assistants, and about 40 per year study in French universities.

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Other cooperation

In the field of internal security, our cooperation prioritizes the fight against organized crime and narcotics, in the form of training courses organized locally by the internal security attaché.

French NGOs are very present and active in Nicaragua, particularly in the areas of food security, water, renewable energy, prevention of domestic and sexual violence, urban planning and rural development. Certain French local governments are also involved in cooperation.

The two latest laureates of the French-German Human Rights Prize in Nicaragua were the NICTA Foundation, which works with children and adolescents in difficulty, in 2016, and then the President of the CEIBO art cooperative, which works on access to the arts and culture in schools in a marginalized region of Nicaragua, in 2017.

Updated: 2 July 2018